The Chinese regime is currently hosting the tenth session of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing, an initiative formed in 2004 to advance closer cooperation between China and the wider Arab world.

While the forum usually centers on commercial and political ties between China and the Arab states, this year the forum was held amid the war in Gaza between Israel and Iran’s terror proxy Hamas.

Addressing the conflict, Chinese President Xi Jinping lamented the “tremendous sufferings” in the Middle East.

“Since last October, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has escalated drastically, throwing the people into tremendous sufferings. War should not continue indefinitely. Justice should not be absent forever,” Xi stated, adding that “as war is raging causing tremendous suffering, justice can’t be absent and the two-state solution can’t be shaken.”

The influential Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi echoed a similar sentiment, telling media representatives that the “strongest call of the meeting was one to firmly support the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights.”

“The joint statement puts forward a just voice to promote the speedy resolution of the Gaza conflict and the comprehensive, fair and lasting resolution of the Palestinian issue,” Wang Yi said, according to Chinese state-controlled media.

The Chinese regime increasingly seeks to present itself as a global power alternative to the United States and the Western alliance.

Unlike the United States and other Western democracies, China has not explicitly condemned Hamas’ massacre of over 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7, which triggered the current war in Gaza. Instead, China has emerged as a vocal critic of Israel and its war efforts against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza and the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

In January, Wang Yi called for an end to the war and a unilateral implementation of the two-state solution.

“China calls for the convening of a larger-scale, more authoritative and more effective international peace conference, the formulation of a specific timetable and road map for the implementation of the ‘two-state solution’, and support for the prompt resumption of Israel-Palestinian peace talks,” Yi stated following a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

China’s increased involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reflects its wider Middle Eastern interests. In 2022, China and Iran signed a strategic cooperation agreement, with Iran slated to receive $400 billion from China over the next 25 years to support its controversial nuclear program. In exchange, China will secure its oil delivery needs and expand its already considerable influence in the Middle East.

Amos Yadlin, Israel’s former IDF chief of military intelligence, assessed that the Biden administration’s perceived weakness has encouraged China to embrace more aggressive policies in the Middle East and beyond.

“China is putting itself in a place that, until today, it had not been before. On a fundamental level, China opposes an Iranian nuclear bomb but, on the other hand, it is not helping to stop Iran. Iran, too, needs the political support, which China has to stop the United States from pressuring it. The Chinese understand that the Biden administration is not the Trump administration, and they can be much more aggressive,” Yadlin stated.

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